The Purrrsuit of Happiness

Cat Training, Lifestyle posted on September 09 2016 by


By Debbie Glovatsky

This article originally appeared in Hamptons Pet magazine.


Falling in love with Waffles, the therapy cat in training.
Hampton Pet Therapy Cat Waffles at Work

Waffles, therapy cat in training, at work. Via Hampton Pet

Late one night while browsing, I immediately fell in love with a tiny, orange kitten. The next day, I could not get to the shelter fast enough to scoop up this furry bundle of joy, who I dubbed “Waffles.”

Full of personality, this brave, fun-seeking missile of a kitten showed me early on that he had an enormous capacity to love and be loved. His optimistic curiosity is infectious. He loves people and people love Waffles.

I had heard about therapy animals and what a positive impact they can have on people living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. I could not shake the thought of what it would be like to not only have to say goodbye to your home, belongings and independence, but quite possibly to your beloved pet. Maybe, just maybe, Waffles could bring a smile to the face of someone missing their cat.

As a therapy cat in training, Waffles visits a local nursing facility, sharing his feline charm with residents and staff. Just a glimpse of him rolling through the hallways in his signature Waffle Wagon elicits double takes and leaves everyone smiling. With a lineup of lady friends who adore entertaining him in their rooms, he often stops off for one-on-one visits.

By just being there and letting someone pet him, Waffles connects with residents in ways that many people cannot. Their eyes light up as they fondly remember the cats they once had, reliving cherished memories and sharing stories. One resident had lost her ability to see or speak. Knowing of her love for cats, the staff placed her hand gently on Waffles’ head so she could feel his fur and pet him. Though her eyes could not longer see, they lit up like stars.

Waffles has just a few supervised visits left before he earns his certification through Love on a Leash, the Foundation for Pet Provided Therapy. As a therapy team, it is all about trust. It is my job to watch for his cues and know when it’s time to rest, allowing him to do his job of sharing his unconditional love. Relying on me to keep him comfortable and safe has created a very special bond between us. The stronger our bond, the more confidence Waffles has as a therapy cat and the more smiles he spreads.



Related Posts

10 Reasons Your Cat Makes the Purrfect Valentine
We all have different ideas about how to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Maybe you’re surprising your significant other with a present they’ve been wanting. Perhaps you’re planning a romantic dinner with the one you love. Or maybe you aren’t looking to do much at all. If that’s the case, we’ve got you covered, because Kitty is
Are Automated Pet Products Good or Bad for Cat Care?
Guest post by Kristen Levine   Kristen Levine Pet Living is the place for stories, science & advice for living happier and healthier with pets. Automation is everywhere, and it’s changing how we live—mostly for the better (although I’m sure some would disagree). Automated...
5 Ways to Keep Your Cat Safe and A-mewsed This Winter
Guest post by Kristen Levine   Kristen Levine Pet Living is the place for stories, science & advice for living happier and healthier with pets. Winter—like it or not, it’s here, and it’s not going anywhere for a while! Depending on where you’re located,...
Should you leave your cat home alone for the holidays?
Guest post by Kristen Levine   Kristen Levine Pet Living is the place for stories, science & advice for living happier and healthier with pets.   The holidays are just around the corner. Maybe, like many cat parents, your holiday plans include some travel....
Litter Box Training Kittens
Ah, the joys of litter box training… Adopting a new kitten may be one of the most delightful experiences a person can have—the sweet cuddles, the awkward playfulness, the spontaneous naps, the doe-eyed stares, their curiosity and wonder, and, oh, the joys of litter box training! What’s that? You’re not equally enamored with the idea
5 Ways to Have a Happy Halloween with Your Cat
When it comes to Halloween and pets, why should dogs have all the fun? From costumes to parades to cat cottages, we’ve got you and your cat covered this Halloween. Here are 5 ways to have a happy Halloween with your cat! 1.  Let Your Furry Friend Be a Door Greeter Do you ever get
Copyright: © Automated Pet Care Products. All Rights Reserved